We live our mission!
That people with disabilities live active and engaged lives.
Our home state of Illinois currently ranks last in supporting people with disabilities in community housing. As concerned community members who have a passion for working with people with disabilities , we realized individuals with disabilities, their families, and the agencies, and schools who support them cannot thrive dependent only on government support. We plan to support groups of individuals with disabilities and their families who desire to live as true members of the community. Philosophically, we believe in empowering individuals with disabilities so they can live their best life as they wish. People with disabilities are not to be seen as objects of pity or super humans, but as individuals who deserve to live as true contributing members of our world.
Abide in Me has been a recognized not for profit in the state of Illinois since 2003. In 2010 we were recognized as a registered 501c3 organization. Our board members previously have trained members of fire and police departments on working with people with Autism, have purchased literacy materials for adult service organizations, sponsored a group of educators to train families and teachers on working with children with disabilities in the Dominican Republic, distributed school supplies and adapted equipment for over 200 children with developmental disabilities , and remodeled a bathroom for wheelchair users at a Intermediate Care Facility. We have provided training at Elim Christian School, Hope School, and Garden Center Services. Members have volunteered to work on special education initiatives in both Illinois and Indiana. Thus far, this work (and more) has been through our own time and personal funds. The Celebrate Me Home housing initiative served as our first large scale event to generate public awareness and support. It is through the support of volunteers and benefactors that the dream of living and thriving in the community will become a reality for all.
All About Us...
Abide In Me is a grass root, not-for-profit, organization formed to support people with disabilities. Founded in 2003 by Sharon Duncan, the organization was inspired by her love for her Aunt Jackie Sheehan who had Down Syndrome and her niece, Jamee Fiedler. The “Celebrate Me Home!” benefit we held served as the first large scale fundraiser supported by Abide In Me.
Abide in me is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization.
Abide in Me’s Board consists of 5 voting members, who are business leaders or owners, parents/family members of individuals with disability or are professionals in the field of disability studies or special education. We have an Advisory Board who are also active participants in the organization.
Abide in Me currently works with other not for profits which support individuals with disabilities as well as self advocates and individual families. We have over 50 volunteers who have support our work.
Sharon Duncan Ed.D, Founder/Executive Director
Linda Geers, Secretary
David Duncan MBA,CMA, Treasurer
Stephen Hawrysz CPA, Board member
Dianne Kleber, Board Member
Kristin Ryan MA -Special Education
501(c)3 Registration and Approval Information
Our incorporation tax ID is 26-1403495
Our IRS tax exemption ID is 17053208345020
We qualify for Public Charity status under IRS code 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)
WE HAVE SERVED AS CHANGE AGENTS:
Just some of our work so far...
• Through our “Celebrate Me Home” housing initiative 6 women from Garden Center Services will be living in a home in the community.
• We have provided monetary and construction support to purchase and adapt homes for adults with disabilities.
• Volunteers have adapted homes to support people with physical disabilities.
• Special educators and adult service providers have received training in goal writing and program planning.
• Adults with intellectual and multiple disabilities received clothing and personal items of their choice.
• Volunteers have provided art opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
• A “morning coffee” program was initiated for 60 adults with disabilities which facilitated conversation, choice making and employment.
• Special educators traveled to Puerto Plata ,Dominican Republic and donated training and school supplies to students and special educators in the Dominican Republic.
• Initiated a support group for parents of children with disabilities in a third world country.
• Contributed to Reece’s Rainbow to support adoptions of children with disabilities.
Further information and address: Abide In Me
17 W. Wend Street
Lemont, Illinois 60439
As a 100% volunteer organization,contributions do not support salaries of directors or consultants.
There is no better time than NOW to:
DONATE, VOLUNTEER FOR A PROJECT, PROVIDE A CORPORATE MATCHING GIFT,BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR, ASK HOW YOU CAN HELP!
• Due to lack of resources, 14% of nursing home residents are young, middle aged adults with disabilities.
• Over 6.5 children with disabilities are school age in the United States. They will need to have access and opportunities for independent living and employment as adults.
• Due to lack of funding, hundreds of young adults with disabilities are “stuck” home, while their skills diminish and they become isolated from their friends in the community.
• Often, to be funded for a day program, a person must be living in a government-funded adult living program.
• Americans with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable Medicaid recipients. Illinois is ranked 48th for Medicaid disbursement for individuals with disabilities.
• Illinois is ranked 51st – behind Puerto Rico – in supporting individuals with disabilities in community or home settings.
• In Illinois, 2,000 individuals reside in institutional settings – Compared to states like Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont who have 95% of individuals with disabilities living in homes as community members.
• Separating individuals with disabilities in institutional settings or keeping them home does not lead to inclusion, equality, or a good quality of life.
• According to research,community living outside of the family home is “good all around”; families are less worried and not as physically exhausted. Individuals with disabilities can have opportunities for friendships, social experiences, physical care and independence skills.
Board of Directors